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? >> the group was more optimistic than many people in looking at the world. they see russia as a country that doesn't pose any threats now and really won't, can't for many years. they see china as a potential threat in the future but recognize we have common interests in china which would ease that threat. and they see the great instability in the middle east as posing specific threats to us such as the chemical weapons in syria which could fall in the hands of terrorists, but see these threats as threats to be managed, not to be resolved once and for all. meaning we can protect the chemical weapons. we don't have to go in and turn syria into a democracy. >> you want the united states to build one of the points that the report makes early on, to build on comparative strengths and address comparative weaknesses. from your standpoint what are those strengths that need to be built on, and then what are the weaknesses that need to be addressed? >> well, our military forces have unprecedented capabilities. we've spent a lot over the last 10 years, as you know, and it shows in our naval power,
in the hundreds aside from the u.s. and russia. and they would have to be included which is a complication. >> i want to take you to the question of strategy and strategy formulation. there are those who say that the united states has lost its ability to think and to act strategically if you look at for example our involvement in iraq, there are those who say that was strategically unwise and became something that was negative to the united states' broad interests. if you look at where we are now closing in on a fiscal cliff or fiscal crises of our own making that could then become obviously problematic for america's borrowing capabilities and economic health more broadly. have we combated strategic thinking. if so why and what do we have to do to become better at strategic thinking. >> attention to the inbox is killing us because it takes away our opportunity to think in long-term -- and to do long- term thinking. and to think strategically. there's no part of the government that really does strategic thinking well now. i mean the state department has a policy planning organization. they don't
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